Day Sea And Landing At Orcadas Station Orkney Island (Page Nine)
We sailed the day away going to the Orkney Islands. Of course, a day at sea means food and lots of lectures and storytelling!
Our first view of the Orkney's
Did You Know? - The South Orkney Islands are a group of islands in the Southern Ocean, about 604 kilometers (375 mi) north-east of the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. They have a total area of about 620 square kilometers (240 sq mi). The islands are claimed both by Britain (as part of the British Antarctic Territory since 1962, previously as a Falkland Islands Dependency), and by Argentina as part of Argentine Antarctica. Under the 1959 Antarctic Treaty, sovereignty claims are held in abeyance.
Britain and Argentina both maintain bases on the islands. The Argentinian base, Orcadas, established 1904, is sited on Laurie Island. The 11 buildings of the Argentinian station house up to 45 people during the summer, and an average of 14 during winter.
The British Antarctic Survey base, Signy Research Station, is located on Signy Island and was established in 1947. Initially operated year-round, since 1995/6 the Signy Research Station has been open only from November to April each year (southern hemisphere summer).
Apart from personnel at the bases, there are no permanent inhabitants on the islands.
Cold is a good word for this area.... REALLY cold!
Did You Know? - The climate of the South Orkneys is generally cold, wet, and windy. Summers are short and cold (December to March) when the average temperatures reach about 3.5 °C (38.3 °F) and fall to about −12.8 °C (9 °F) in July. The all time temperature range is between 12 and −44 °C (53.6 and −47.2 °F). The seas around the islands are ice-covered from late April to November.
Orcadas Station on Laurie Island in the South Orkney Islands.
Amazing close to the water... altitude thirteen feet?
Did You Know? - Base Orcadas is an Argentine scientific station in Antarctica, and the oldest of the stations in Antarctica still in operation. It is located on Laurie Island, one of the South Orkney Islands (Spanish: Islas Orcadas del Sur), at 4 meters (13.1 ft) above sea level and 170 meters (558 ft) from the coastline.
Established by the Scottish National Antarctic Expedition in 1903 and transferred to the Argentine government in 1904, the base has been permanently populated since, being one of six Argentine permanent bases in Argentina's claim to Antarctica, and the first permanently inhabited base in Antarctica.
The nearest port is the Argentine city of Ushuaia, which is 1,502 km (933 mi) away. The base has 11 buildings and four main topics of research: continental glaciology, seismology, sea-ice-zone glaciology (since 1985) and meteorological observations (since 1903).
Orcadas was the only station on the islands for 40 years until the British established a small summer base, Cape Geddes Station in Laurie Island in 1946, replaced by Signy Research Station in Signy Island in 1947.
Some blue skies were peaking through
You must be kidding!
Good solid foundation!
The base makes sure the lighthouse is always working
Doesn't look like much now but...
... in 1903 it was a life saver
Did You Know? - Omond House was the grand name given to this building erected in 1903 on Laurie Island in the South Orkney Islands. It was built to house shore-based members of the 1902-1904 Scottish National Antarctic Expedition, led by William Bruce.
The house was named after Scottish meteorologist Robert T Omond, a strong supporter of the idea of making meteorological observations in Antarctica. It was built with over 100 tonnes of stone manually quarried then hauled on sledges from an adjacent glacial moraine.
Its main purposes were to serve as a base for meteorological observations made at the nearby weather station, and as living quarters for small parties left behind both when the Scotia returned to Buenos Aires for repairs and supplies, and when she finally returned to Scotland.
Our guide knew it all
Hey... It worked!
Come on in!
Felt good to be inside!
OK? Do you see it?
I found a friend!
The weather changes quite rapidly
The buildings are several feet above ground...
The antennas serves as a radio beacon to ships
Notice the flags... The wind is howling!
Laurie Island is the second largest of the South Orkney Islands.
Comfortable and historic
They even had entertainment in the early 1900's
Love the shoes...
Do you see him?
A simple cemetery
Coffee? Yes indeed!
The bar down under!
Everybody is here!
The chapel was nicely done
Back to the ship... It's going to be a hard walk
The walking sticks are very helpful!
What is that strange feeling? Oh! Heat!
Heading out to sea
Seeing the floating ice go by as we have a little hot toddy!
Keep your eye on the road captain! (View from inside)
We stepped outside to see it without the glass in the way
Elephant Island here we come
Ice is all over... Glad we can maneuver quickly